Well, my first transfer in the field has come and gone, with each week getting better than the last. I'm pretty sure almost every day this week I wrote, "Great day!" with a smiley face in my journal. :) Each week I get more comfortable with Tagalog, feel more love for our investigators, and fall more in love with the Philippines. Life is good!
We have a humungous teaching pool. I don't even know where to begin. We have three wonderful sisters who are full of faith and a desire to know more. We have single moms and very old people. We have quite a few families and single people. There are so many people we know and love and teach. :) Sister Marlene is a Mom of 6 with a baptismal date of Jan 11. We are working to try to help her with her understanding of the doctrine, which is simple, but sure, and her testimony of Joseph Smith. She struggles to come to church consistently, but she has so much faith and such a strong desire to learn the gospel. I love Sister Marlene and her cute family! One investigator has been on my mind a lot this week - Sister Feliciana - She's 68 and lives with her husband and their grandkids. All day long, from sunrise to sunset, they work washing glass bottles in their yard to earn money. The bottles come from the trash and have the rotten remnants of bagoong (fish sauce) and banana catsup in them. All day everyday, Feliciana and her husband and her grandkids clean these smelly bottles so that they can sell them to the bottling factory. They make 5 pesos for 24 bottles, so for a whole day they only make about 60-100 pesos (1-2 dollars). It's so sad. Her grandkids are only 9 or 10 years old and so solemn. Feliciana has a strong testimony of God and has cried both times that she's prayed during the lessons. The Spirit was so strong! We are working with her and loving her and sometimes we help her stack the bottles so they can dry. The gospel can help her so much. I love being able to share something with people that can change their lives spiritually, even if I can't change their physical situations. We pray that she will be able to come to church.
We had a great zone activity last Monday! We went caroling at the grocery store in town. It was so fun to see people's reactions to about 30 missionaries loudly singing Christmas carols in the middle of the day :) The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear, right? :) After that, we went to this big field in front of the capital and played ultimate for a little while. We have these awesome zone shirts that say I <3 Lingayen Zone on them. I do love our zone!! So many great missionaries!!
Have a great week! I love you all!
Sister Gus :)